Johannesburg

Unique Joburg tours to join this month

13 Aug 2020
The South African Ministry of Tourism has confirmed that among the tourism businesses allowed to operate under a Level 3 lockdown are independent tour guides. In light of the current crisis and the need to maintain social distancing, tours will only be in small groups (usually up to four people), you will need to wear a mask at all times (bring your own) and it is recommended you also bring your own pocket-sized hand sanitiser (your guide will also provide you with if you don't have).

You will also be required to complete an indemnity form. Your temperature may be taken before the tour, if you have a fever you won't be able to join, and quite frankly if you have a fever you should be at home isolating anyway! While none of the above guidelines have been specifically directed at the tourist guide sector, guides have taken the recommendations currently in place in other sectors as part of a new norm to safely ensure social distancing. 

Here's a look at some interesting Joburg tours we recommend booking this month.

Lebo's Soweto Bicycle Tours

One of South Africa's most iconic tour companies, Lebo's Soweto Bicycle Tours have restarted their walking, cycling and tuk tuk tours exclusively for private tours only (couples, individuals or families).Tours take in all the main sights of Soweto and delve into the unique elements of local culture and history that most outsiders never get to see. One of the best and most original ways to explore Soweto.

Need to know: Lebo's are running specials on all their two hour tours in August. Two hour walking tours now cost R200 per person, bike tours R300 and tuk tuk tours R400. Book a tour online at sowetobackpackers.com.
 
Lebo's Soweto Bicycle Tours

Bridge Books Underground Booksellers Walk

Downtown bookshop Bridge Books' walking tour through the city's literary district is back. Taking in the many formal and informal book traders who give this area of the City Centre such distinct character, the tours also take in several historic buildings and significant city landmarks.

Need to know: Email info@bridgebooks.co.za to register your interest and book.

Skateboarding tours with City Skate Tours

City Skate Tours is the brainchild of Joburg-born Ayanda Mnyandu and his partner-in-crime Daniel Monegi. Self-confessed 'skater boys' Mnyandu and Monegi fell in love with skateboarding at a tender age, and first conceptualised the tour after showing their friends around the inner-city on skateboards. Travelling down quiet, flat streets, self-confessed skater boi Ayanda Mnyandu's unique skateboard tours roll past city landmarks like Beyers Naude Square and the Library Gardens, the historic members-only Rand Club, and Marco Cianfanelli's monument to the young Nelson Mandela Shadow Boxing, with Mnyandu sharing the stories of Joburg's early history along the way. Street art of course is also a major feature (great photo ops abound). A brilliant tour for energetic types.

Need to know: The tour lasts three hours and skateboards are provided (tours are for persons aged over 18 only). Tours cost from R400 per person (including skateboard rental) and are available daily. To book contact Ayanda Mnyandu on +27 79 839 8833 or email cityskatetours@gmail.com. Groups of up to six can be accommodated (preferably families and/or close friends).
 
Temperature check at City Skate Tours, Maboneng

Explore Joburg City Centre with JoburgPlaces

Joburg City Centre walking tour specialists JoburgPlaces offer two 'signature' tours which are well worth booking; the Marshalltown tour which looks at the myriad colourful stories from the city's gold rush heyday as told through the streets and architecture of historic Marshalltown, and the City Centre tour which explores the diverse retail areas in and around Kerk Street. From September they will also be running a special Saturday Tours programme which will change every week and includes tours themed around farming, fashion and fabric shopping, rooftops, urban development and public art in eat Joburg and money, banks and vailts. 

Need to know: Private tours for two people cost R1,000, R2,000 for four people, the new public Saturday Tours costs R400 per person. To book, WhatsApp +27 82 894 5216 or send an email to gerald@joburgplaces.com.

Graffiti cycling and walking tours with MicroAdventure Tours

Kennedy Tembo's of MicroAdventure Tours is Joburg's ambassador of adventure. An enthusiastic guide with a passion for history and art, he weaves the many remarkable stories of the city's past and present into his colourful and energetic tours that cover some of the most interesting areas of the city centre. There are tours on foot, although the best journeys set off by bike. Classic cycling tours include the Jozi Coffee Cycle while popular new tours that have just launched are the Jozi Graffiti Cycle Tour which will take you to all of the latest major murals created in the city during lockdown.

Need to know: Email info@microadventuretours.co.za or call / whatsapp +27 083 772 4678 to book a tour.
 
Graffiti Cycle Tour with MicroAdventure Tours

Past Experiences City Walk and Braamfontein Art Walk

Celebrated for their pioneering street art walks of the City Centre, Past Experiences offer two signature walking tours. The two hour City Walk focuses on Joburg's historic architecture, public art and major landmarks which form a backdrop for the compelling stories of the city's rapid gold rush growth, apartheid spatial planning and 21st Century urban renewal. Past Experiences also runs a Braamfontein Art Walk which looks at Braamfontein's dozens of bold graffiti murals and large-scale public artworks.

Need to know: Tours are for a maximum of four people and cost from R1,000-R1,100 for the group. Email past.experiences@hotmail.com for details and bookings.
 
 

 

Dlala Nje

Dlala Nje (meaning 'Just Play' in isiZulu) is an innovative tour company based in Hillbrow’s iconic Ponte building that offers memorable walking and immersion experiences in the infamous inner-city neighbourhoods of Hillbrow and Yeoville. Dlala Nje’s aim is to dispel myths about these notorious suburbs and to showcase the unusual history and various African communities that make these areas of the city so distinctive. Dlala Nje have relaunched their 1.5 hour Ponte Experience tour, other experiences are on hold for now and will reappear at a later date. The tour explores the Ponte building telling the remarkable story of the building which was once the grandest address in 1970s Joburg before falling dramatically to become one of the city's most dangerous buildings in the 1990s and finally rising again in the late 2000s. The Dlala Nje team has also pioneered an innovative new fully immersive virtual walking tour in which you get to walk through the busy streets of Hillbrow, in the company of a guide, from the comfort of home!

Need to know: The Ponte Experience tour costs R300 per person (including a drink). Book online here at the Dlala Nje website.
 

Views from inside the Ponte building on a Dlala Nje tour. Photo by Felix Lipov / Shutterstock

 

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